Still in the money

“Growing from our roots in publishing, we offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users spend more time making breakthroughs and drive societal progress,” for-profit journal giant Elsevier, by Twitter.

That will be those “roots in publishing” that earned Elsevier-owner RELX €1.2264bn in the six months to June 30, marginally down (€1.276bn) on 2020, for its scientific, technical and medical division.  STM is where the journals are.

Adjusted operating profit was €457m – that’s $A732m.

QILT uncovers international students first pandemic response

It could have been worse for unis –  it probably will be

“Australia remains an attractive destination for international students, despite the impacts of COVID-19,” according to a media statement from Education Minister Alan Tudge, yesterday.

At least it was when the survey was conducted, July-October last year, by the estimable team responsible for the excellent Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching.

What international students think now, after another year of being locked out of campus off and on we will not know until next year’s survey.

But even a year back, satisfaction levels among on-shore international students were way down on the pre-pandemic pinnacle. Satisfaction with the overall education experience was down 12 per cent (the drop for locals was 9 per cent).  Overall, 18 per cent had “seriously considered” bailing from their study institution (admittedly only 1 per cent up on 2019), mainly for health/stress/financial reasons.

There are some alarming stats for institutions that rely on Chinese students.  With Malaysians, they were especially unhappy with pretty much everything last year, reporting below international averages on all five categories of education experience – 11 per cent below for “learner engagement.”

Nor were Chinese students were not as enthusiastic as those from other sample countries on their lived-experiences, reporting “substantially lower positive ratings” on improving their English, use of the transport system, personal safety and making friends.

And as for claims that Chinese students use study as a way to work part-time and migrate –  55 per cent nominated the former and 42 per cent the latter, “lower than students from other countries.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

The Federal Court has decided inventions by AI can be patented. Amanda-Jane George (CQU) explains how this happened and why it matters.

Angel Calderon (RMIT) on this year’s Good Universities Guide ranking – the institutions that do well, the way the metrics work and the GUG’s enduring achievement.

PlusJames Guthrie (Macquarie U) digs into the UTS annual report to discover how the big building programme was funded – but not how many jobs COVID-19 has cost.

And an oped a bunch of uni marketers need to readJason Brown and Peter McIlveen suggest measuring student and graduate experience of study is important to quality assurance but are no measure of employment outcomes. This week’s addition to Contributing Editor Sally Kift‘s celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.

With Tim Winkler (Twig Marketing) on why it’s all over for open days.

And about time too

The Senate decided yesterday that the ACIL Allen report on the Industry Growth Centres must be tabled Monday morning

What the report completed before the last election, the subject of all sorts of speculation, because it has never been released? you ask (CMM May 10, June 28). That’s the one.

Uni Wollongong out of inns

It’s selling off-campus student accommodation

The university announces International House and Weerona College are for sale. They were closed last year, when UoW explained, “occupancy rates are low and the sense of community that our students enjoy has been effected,” (CMM August 17 2020). Marketview Residences (144 capacity in the Wollongong CBD) will also go on the market, closing when existing tenancies conclude in January.

According to UoW, selling on a “buoyant property market” is “certain to benefit the local economy.”  The cash won’t hurt the university either. The university’s annual report states a loss of $48m for 2020 and that it increased cash holdings by $161m, “primarily a result of additional borrowings completed in late 2020 to facilitate the termination of the student accommodation partnership project in early 2021.” (James Guthrie analysed the UoW annual report in CMM July 13).

So, where will UoW house new international students when they arrive? “There is sufficient capacity available in our on campuses residences to meet foreseeable demand,” the university advises.

Open wide for the camera and say “aaa

La Trobe U has $1.6m from the Victorian Government for a telehealth training kit and classroom

The university will fund the other $2.6m for healthcare students to learn how to conduct remote patient consultations.

The Vic Gov money is from its HE investment fund – which leverages maximum media from relatively small amounts of money.

Management and union all-ears at Western Sydney U

Staff at WSU’s pathway-provider, The College are voting on a management proposed enterprise agreement 

The deal includes a 1.25 per cent annual pay rise across the agreement, half of what the WSU branch of the National Tertiary Education Union asked for.

The NTEU has campaigned against the agreement, arguing doubling the payrise is entirely affordable given the College earned $70m last year (up from $62m in 2019) and paid a $35m royalty to the university. There is also a dispute over whether casual staff are paid for all marking-hours.

But WSU management must be confident it has staff support – enterprise agreements opposed by the union are generally rejected in all staff votes.

With enterprise bargaining at the university itself underway both management and union bargaining teams will likely factor the College result into their strategies.


A case to make: independent science advice for parliament

Kim Carr and Janet Rice want the Senate’s Economic References Committee to consider the creation of an office of science and technology to advise members and senators

The senators are extending a recommendation of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee which called for a Parliamentary Office of Science, based on that in the UK, “to provide independent, impartial scientific advice, evidence and datato the parliament, and all members and senators,” (CMM February 18).

The Labor-Greens motion was bounced off the Senate agenda a couple of times this week and is now listed for Tuesday.

The role of the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is “impartial, balanced and peer-reviewed briefings that make research evidence accessible to the UK parliament.”

Appointments and achievements

Of the day

 Suneeti Rekhari now a learning development and design manager at RMIT is moving to TAFE NSW to become Director, Product Ops and Performance

Of the week

Jake Baum will join UNSW in January as head of the School of Medical Sciences. He will move from Imperial College London.

John Clout becomes a professor of practice at Curtin U’s WA School of Mines. He will work on renewable energy and green hydrogen sources in metal production.

At Murdoch U, David Henry moves up to dean, Research and Innovation in the College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education.

 Tantia Indah joins Monash Indonesia as COO. 

Bernard Lanskey is the in-coming director of Griffith U’s Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Andrew Miller is the new SA Division secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union. What, you ask, the Andrew Miller who was an especially active activist branch president at Flinders U? That’s the one. Cécile Dutreix (Uni SA) is deputy secretary.

Anna Nowak (UWA) is inaugural recipient of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s Professor M Tattersall Heroes Award.

Craig Robertson is the inaugural CEO of the new Victorian Skills Authority. He now leads TAFE Directors Australia.

Amanda Ruth is the new Guest of the Chair at the Medtech and Pharma Growth Centre. Dr Ruth is policy manager at Rare Cancers Australia.

Jennie Shaw becomes DVC A of Uni Adelaide. She has acted in the role since June 2020, while also being ED of the arts faculty.

Tammy Small joins Uni Wollongong’s Indigenous Strategy Unit as manager, projects. She moves from student advancement manager at Uni Newcastle.

Kate Torney, CEO of the State Library of Victoria will leave to head the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

In Uni Melbourne’s Student and Scholarly ServicesDavina Potts will become Director, Future Students at the end of the month. She moves from an associate director role in Student Success. Kate Gascoigne will  start as Director, Operational Planning & Student Information in October.  She was seconded to SASS last year as Programme Director Ops Planning.

Uni Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has new appointments.  Libby Graham is confirmed as general manager, she has been acting in the role since March. Lisa Adkins becomes Deputy Dean (Strategy) while continuing as head of the School of Social and Political Sciences.